The voices of all the young kids still haunt my thoughts. Everywhere we went the same words being repeated. “You, you, you, give me one dollar”! For many these were the only English words that they knew. Going to one of, if not the, poorest country in the western hemisphere really puts things in perspective. We have so much here in America, yet are satisfied in so little. We have much but we always seek more. A never ending game of chasing after the American dream.
This past week I was in Haiti. I’ve seen poverty before. This was poverty. Many of the people literally had nothing. Yet they were happy. They found so much joy in the simplest of things. Kids were willing to push and pull to get in line with the hopes of getting one piece of candy. People would walk miles upon miles to get fresh water. They would wait in line for hours to be seen by a medical professional who in all honesty could only help mask the pain.
There is darkness there. A darkness that we can’t fathom. There is darkness here. A darkness we don’t see. Yet being in Haiti it made the darkness here all the more evident. We are bombarded with it every day. The darkness of materialism. The voice that says we need this new “_____” to be satisfied. In Haiti the darkness was poverty, hopelessness, and voodoo. Many people die there from treatable diseases. Some die from malnourishment. Other live such hard lives that they die much younger than they should. There is no hope in voodoo. The witchdoctors can’t heal the sick, they can’t make the lame walk, they can’t make the blind see.
I have hope for Haiti. I have a hope that in Jesus Christ the light will shine in the darkness and the blind will see. God is working in Haiti. The light shines so much brighter there because of the darkness. On our trip we got to be that light. We got to provide medicine for people who were sick. We got to provide hope for those who were hopeless. We gave them what they needed. We did not feed them, we did not clothe them, we did not heal them. We gave them hope. A hope that can only be found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
As a team we got to preach on 5 different occasions each was a different gospel presentation. Our VBS team got to share Christ with over 500 kids. Our medical team of 2 doctors and 3 nurses got to see over 1000 people in 5 days. Our construction team got to put in lights and fans and plumbing. All of this in the midst of an intense darkness.
The most noteworthy event took place on Tuesday of the trip. That was the day we went to the Voodoo village. We did VBS leaned up against the walls of the voodoo temple. They did medical on the porch of the witch doctors house. We proclaimed the name of Christ in the very stronghold of satan. God was gracious. He protected us. He sustained us.
I also got to preach that night. The previous two nights had seen about 75 people in the church including our team of 20. But not this night. They had taken the army truck to a neighboring village and picked up as many people as could cram in it. I estimate over 100. I think the church probably had around 200 people. I was taken a little off guard. God was gracious and supplied me with thoughts and convictions. I preached the gospel. There is no greater need than the gospel. How many times did i have to hear it before I was saved? The gospel is the power of God for salvation. AMEN! I thank God and give Him glory for that night.
It was remarkable how every where we went the kids kept saying “you, you, you, give me one dollar”. It was a little disturbing at first. But this morning as I was praying I realized I was doing the same thing. I was saying “God, God, God, give me…” God is so gracious to us. Let us love and worship Him for who He is. His gifts are good. But ultimately it is the giver that is the supreme GOOD! He is the best. So let us praise Him and give Him glory.
Ps 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
God should be our highest pleasure. Not the gifts He gives.